Boks ‘let the country down’

South Africans and rugby fans around the world are shocked at the Springboks’ unexpected loss against Japan.

 

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Japan’s Karne Hesketh placing the ball over the chalk line for the winning try against the Springboks Saturday night. Photo: Charlie Crowhurst

South Africa’s  two time Rugby World Cup winning Springboks took on the underdog team of Japan on Saturday and lost.

Before the start of the first of the Pool B matches everyone knew this game would be historical as it was the first time these two sides met. To the surprise of rugby fanatics around the world, including that of Japan, the Asian side pulled well-deserved 32-34 win out of the bag in extra time.

“We let the country down, we let ourselves down…no excuses,” said Springbok head coach Heyneke Meyer.

Before the game Japan only won one out of their 24 matches in their RWC bids, whereas South Africa only lost four out of their 25 games.

From the kick-off Japan was on the Boks with every move they made putting pressure with their ability to get to the break-down faster than the green and gold.

They played tactically well and made good use of every opportunity the Boks gave them with penalties.

Although the Japanese displayed incredible rugby, one might say the Springboks’ starting XV were definitely not of the caliber that the world is use to.

Meyer chose to play heavy and slow players expecting Japan would be a walk-over win of at least 40 points, but he played right into Japan’s coach, Eddie Jones’ hands.

Springbok captain, Jean de Villiers was at a loss for words after the games, but commended the Japanese side for a fantastic game.

Never before has a team conceded this many points against South Africa in a RWC match.

Unless South Africa wins the rest of their pool games with two bonus points the Boks will be going home much sooner than expected.

They will be taking on an even tougher opposition in the form of Samoa next Saturday. If they lose this game their campaign for the cup is over.

SOCCER: Big win for Wits in women’s football league

The Wits Football Women’s team showed a resurgence in form in their match against Tshwane University of Technology-1 on Wednesday night. Playing on home soil, the team managed to net 5 goals, producing their best performance this season.

Both teams came into this game on equal footing on the league log. TUT-1 had played to a two-all draw with Vaal University of Technology (Vanderbijlpark) two weeks ago while Wits played to a one-all draw with the University of Johannesburg (UJ).

The team played defensively against UJ but showed confidence in their match on Wednesday, pushing forward with every possession of the ball. Linah Maphanga and Siphesihle Zungu made a strong partnership by ensuring that with every touch of the ball they had, an opportunity to score.

“This result shows that we are getting better game-by game”.

When speaking to Wits Vuvuzela last week, Zungu shared how nervous she had been during the last match because she is one of the new players on the team. It seems she has warmed up to the task and this showed in her performance last night.

Wits coach Jabulile Baloyi explained the game had given the team a more positive outlook for the rest of the season. She said “Even though we were satisfied with the draw, this result shows that we are getting better game-by game”.

With Wednesday night’s win, the go into their next match again Midrand Graduate Institute (MGI), their first away game, looking to move to the top of the table. “We’re going back to the drawing board in terms of looking at where our weaknesses were because we didn’t play that perfectly we sure need to work on some departments,” Baloyi said.

The goals of the evening were scored by Maphanga who scored the first two goals, Hlengiwe Tshirunga who scored another two goals and Zungu who scored the final goal of the night against TUT-1 women.

 

SOCCER: Wits Men’s FC suffer a 2-0 defeat to TUT-1

TUT-1 beats Wits men 2-0 in USSA league game.

CHALLENGE: TUT player Nkosenhle Ntshangase on the attack.

CHALLENGE: TUT player Nkosenhle Ntshangase on the attack. Photo: Samantha Camara

Wits Football Club Men suffered yet another defeat after they lost their second match 2-0 to fifth placed Tshwane University of Technology (TUT) at the Bidvest Stadium on Wednesday evening.

Wits coach, Karabo Mogudi explained how disappointed he was at the result of the game. He said “Football is an honest game, it really shows you your weaknesses and if you’re lacking in anything, it’ll really show up”.

The pitch was damp as the rain had fallen quite heavily earlier in the evening. The grass was quite slippery, making it difficult for players to keep steady and upright on the pitch.

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ATTACK: Neo Makua dribbles past the TUT-1 defense. Photo: Samantha Camara

In the first few minutes neither team asserted themselves as ball possession was equally distributed.

A counter attack by TUT in the 15th minute led by Senzo Mtshali with the assistance of Shirinda Vogani almsost put them in the lead. Future Gumede eventually took the shot that went wide of the post.

Wits player Innocent Magasela found himself at the end of a hard tackle in the 18th minute of the game which left him in serious pain, giving Wonder Frank an opportunity to show his skills after Magasela had to be taken off.

In the 27th minute of the first half, the perseverance of the TUT side and an error by Wits gave the TUT combination of Mtshali, Vongani and Gumede an opportunity to move towards Wits goals from the left hand side of the Wits defence resulting in a surprising goal by Bongi Mkhabele. Placing TUT-1 in the lead with 13 minutes of the first half remaining.

The second goal of the match came in the 79th minute of the match after both teams had a series of back-and-forth attempts. Gumede, who had been a headache for the Wits defence throughout the game, led an attack from the middle. Vongani stole the ball from the Wits mid-fielders and went through the right hand side of Wits’ defence to score a goal that can only be described as beautiful, sealing the fate of the Wits side.

Coach of the winning side TUT Maude Khumalo said: “I am very happy with the way the boys played, they listened to my instructions, they played as a team and they worked hard.”

Both Wits teams will play away against Midrand Graduate Institute on the 24th March at the Makulong Stadium.

Wits Sport keeping budget confidential

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FOOTBALL THRIVING: Lethu Nhlumayo doing drills with Wits U/19 men’s football team on Tuesday afternoon.

Wits Sport are keeping their new strategic budget allocations a secret.

The strategy has been implemented with the start of this year, where Wits Sport has cut-off funding for all but five sport clubs (rugby, football, basketball, hockey and cricket). This has forced other sport and recreational clubs to financially fend for themselves or die out.

The amount of money and its utilisation within these five clubs are “highly confidential”, according to Head of Wits Sport, Adrian Carter.

Carter’s reason for making the budget information privileged is to keep other universities or competitors from finding out “how Wits plans to climb to the top of University Sport.”

“We have needed to come up with a commercial plan to bring in funds on a sustainable basis as, quite frankly, the funds we currently receive are not sufficient for us to compete at any level, never mind Varsity Sport- hence the change in strategy,” said Carter.

Allegedly clubs were told that if they perform better than one of the top five clubs they will get funding back.

“It is a vicious circle. If we don’t get money, then we won’t attract good players and we won’t get recognition,” said third year Medicine student and member of the Wits women’s water polo team, Catherine Bezuidenhout.

Bezuidenhout said they understand that the university can’t cover every club completely, “but we need some sort of assistance.”

Fellow team mate and fourth year Medicine student, Jeanie du Toit, explained that many of her team mates already have student loans and that they can’t afford to pay for kits, transport and accommodation on their own- let alone pay for their coach.

She added that given their academic challenges the new budget decree would now demand they use their own time to fund raise; “We are all studying. Now we must give up time not only to train and work hard to bring attention to our sport, but to raise funds too.”

 

 

 

Bloem Celtics continue on winning streak, beating the Clever Boys

Bidvest Wits team before the kick off at the Bidvest stadium on Friday night. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Bidvest Wits team before the kick off at the Bidvest stadium on Friday night. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Bloemfontein Celtic has continued their winning streak by beating Bidvest Wits 1-0 on Friday night.

The winning goal was struck by Lerato Lamola in the 78th minute. His team mate, Musa Nyatama, was tackled unfairly by Siyabonga Nhlapo of Bidvest Wits. Nhlapo was given his second yellow card of the match, and was sent off. Nhlapo conceded a penalty which allowed the visitors to lead 1-0.

The Free State based team has been on a winning streak since the start of the Premier Soccer League in February this year

The game was hotly contested, with Bloemfontein Celtic’s coach, Clinton Larsen admitting that they had expected to work hard for their win. He said they watched how Wits dominated the game against Sundowns and he warned his players that, “Wits settle very quickly.”

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt talks to journalists after his team was defeated by the Bloemfontein Celtics. Photo: Sinikiwe  Mqadi

Bidvest Wits coach Gavin Hunt talks to journalists after his team was defeated by the Bloemfontein Celtics. Photo: Sinikiwe Mqadi

Larsen added that his side was very disciplined and that Wits didn’t manage to break them down in the middle. He was delighted with the three points and said, “The boys worked hard for it.”

The game had a slow start with the players being unable to keep their balance on the wet pitch, due to rain earlier in the day.

As the players began to adjust to the pitch and the chilly Johannesburg air, Wits took their chances with a cross being played through from Shameegh Doutie to Jabulani Shongwe in the first 30 minutes of the game. The shot, like many others that Wits had on target, did not reach the back of the net.

Wits Goalkeeper, Moeneeb Josephs also had his work cut out for him as Bloemfontein Celtic attacked at every chance they got.

In the 43rd minute, Lerato Lamola after being served with a great ball from Man of the Match, Keegan Ritchie, failed to find the back of the net due to a vigilant save by Josephs.

Even though the first was goalless, the atmosphere was electric with the fans of The Clever Boys and those of Siwelele singing to keep their spirits up and themselves warm.

After the drastic turn of events in the 78th minute, the 10-man-side of Wits played solid football and managed to hold Celtics at one goal.

A disappointed Gavin Hunt said he believed that his side should have scored more goals. He said they were second in the league and not at the top, because they have not been scoring goals.

Wits remain at 40 points on the log table, 10 points below log leaders Kaizer Chiefs, whilst Bloemfontein Celtic walked away with three points.